Reviewed by Susan

True Confession: My name is Susan and I am a skincare dropout! I have tried products off and on all my life but after a short time, I just drop out. I don’t have time, etc., etc. You’ve heard the stories or perhaps been there yourself. The only thing is: I am 56. Aging skin is obviously not my only problem! At this age, I have now realized that I have not only wasted lots of money because of the half-used bottles that have been tossed out, but I have also harmed my skin. Therefore, it was with a huge relief that I found Truth in Aging!

Among my many facial needs and flaws that could be addressed, dark under-eye circles and puffiness is near the top. I am a brunette with medium skin tone so some of this may come from genetics. I was greatly interested when Marta published a story about causes and solutions for dark under-eye circles. I live in a river valley in the Midwest… allergy and sinus country. I took Marta’s suggestion that “…a nasal decongestant spray may be the first thing you should invest in.” I didn’t notice any real improvement but I continue to this day to use a nasal decongestant before I go to bed each night.

I tried new concealers… they didn’t do the trick either. So when Marta put out the opportunity to try La Isha Dark Circle Relief Formula, I jumped at the chance! There was one small problem, however. I had begun to use ReLuma Eye Cream ($90) on both eyes about one week prior to the La Isha arrival and I had no idea if this would taint the outcome. Enter: Marta with sound, sage advice. She suggested I try and do a side-by-side comparison of the two products. I was beginning a real “face-off.”

According to the La Isha website this product “contains a blend of potent essential oils that help lighten dark under-eye circles that are caused by sinus congestion and stagnant circulation.” So far, so good. I definitely have nightly congestion.

As are all of the products from La Isha, Dark Circle Relief is made totally from essential oils. There are six in all, beginning in the ingredient list with oil of organic pine, oil of organic cypress, organic olive oil, oil of organic tea tree, oil of organic eucalyptus and, lastly, oil of organic rosemary. I examined the ingredient list on the La Isha website and found that both eucalyptus and pine oils are effective in decreasing inflammation. Eucalyptus, pine and cypress oils are reported to be effective in reducing respiratory congestion. Cypress oil is noted to decrease fluid retention in “congested tissues” and to strengthen and tone the circulatory system. Olive oil and rosemary oil purportedly are effective for sagging skin and decreased elasticity. Of particular note, these two oils are both full of nutrients for the skin, although the only nutrients mentioned specifically are the antioxidants vitamins A, C and E in olive oil. Finally, oil of rosemary is listed as ideal for “wrinkled, aging, burned, scarred, sun-damaged and mature skin.” These essential oils are not listed on the TIA site (with the exception of olive oil) and the Cosmetic Cop gives rosemary extract, eucalyptus oil and pine oil a frowny face.

Well, now to the trial… The Dark Circle Relief product directions say to apply several drops externally to both sides of the nose, the forehead, and the under-eye areas twice a day. Complete the application by massaging “gently until absorbed.” So for four weeks, I religiously applied the Dark Circle Relief Formula on one side and then the ReLuma Eye Cream on the other eye.

To be fair, the area under my left eye, the eye designated by me for the Dark Circle Relief, was slightly darker than the right at the beginning of the trial. Within, seven days I noted that both under-eye areas were noticeably less dark. I also thought that there was a lessening of the very fine lines under both eyes. At this time, I investigated the area of our facial sinuses by using a good old Google search for images of facial sinuses. I found that there are sinuses (and anyone who has ever had a sinus infection probably already knows this) that extend quite a ways under our eyes. Therefore, I began at this point to extend the application of the Dark Circle Relief further under the eye (but not near the eyelid itself), where the facial sinuses are located. See diagram below.

sinus diagram By Day 12, I awakened, looked in the mirror, and there was much less puffiness and less dark tissue under both eyes. In fact, the Dark Circle Relief eye was actually slightly less dark than the right eye. The area under both eyes continued to gradually lighten and have less puffiness than prior to usage of both products. Sadly, the puffiness varied by day, as did the darkening of the area under my eyes. Yet, overall, there was a definite decrease in discoloration and puffiness of both under eyes!

Now, can I say that one product outshone the other? No. My Dark Circle Relief eye still is normally slightly darker than the other eye, which was treated with ReLuma. This seems to just be something with my skin, congestion, and under-eye area.

The Dark Circle Relief comes with a dropper-type lid and is only .3 fluid ounces (or 8.8 ml) for $42. The packaging is clean and made of glass. The .3 ounces may seem very small but after four weeks’ usage on one eye - and now two additional weeks on both eyes, I still have only used slightly less than one-half of the bottle. And I did use this product in a wider area than suggested for part of the trial.

So I guess the real question is will I buy this product on my own? I think I will - though I plan on finishing the bottle I have first. For me, the decrease in puffiness, especially, is well worth it!

Thank you Marta and TIA for providing this opportunity!

Ingredients in La Isha Dark Circle Relief: Essential oil of organic Pinus sylvestris (pine), essential oil of organic Cupressus sempervirens (cypress), organic Olea europaea (olive oil), essential oil of organic Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree), essential oil of organic Eucalyptus radiata (eucalyptus), essential oil of organic rosemary verbenone (rosemary)

Ingredients in ReLuma Eye Cream: Human adipose derived stem cell conditioned media, DI water, acetyl hexapeptide-8, hydroxyl acrylate/sodium, acryloy dimethyl taurate copolymer, jojoba oil, glycerin, Eyeseryl (acetyl tetrapeptide-5), pentapeptide-18/caprylyl glycol, palmitoyl tripeptide-5, Eyeliss (Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone/steareth-20/dipeptide-2, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, polysorbate-20) Haloxyl (steareth-20 N-hydroxysucchimide/chrysin/palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7), shea butter, DL-alpha tocopheryl acetate, squalane (olive oil), niacinamide, phenoxyethanol, dimethicone, grape fruit extract, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, Roxisomes (lecithin, arabidopsis thalana extract, green tea extract, sodium hyaluronate, co-enzyme Q10, alpha arbutin, licorice extract, DL panthenol